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Perspectives on my Bat Mitzvah
by Daphne Drohobyczer

The serpent was the one who convinced Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge. Eve, in turn, convinced Adam to do the same, so that they were both equally guilty. Believe it or not, Adam was just as guilty as Eve. God punishes all three players. This was at a time when the serpent could speak, and even though God warned Adam and Eve not to partake from the fruit, their punishments were very merciful. God said that Eve would be in pain when she gives birth, and that Adam would have to break his back to earn a day of leisure. The most obvious reawakening for Adam and Eve from eating the fruit was that they realized that they were naked. They immediately sewed clothing, or loin cloths from leaves. Later, God blessed them with sewn skins for clothing. Eating from the tree of knowledge was not a mistake; doing so caused the beginnings of civilization.

Wearing clothes was just the start of modern times, as clothes evolved from animal skins, in the garden of Eden, to leather jackets in modern times. When they were naked and did not realize it, Adam and Eve were like animals. Something that sets us apart from animals is clothing. Now, any type of clothing can be manufactured because civilization progressed. Not realizing that they were naked was actually a bad thing. During their time, they were able to hear God’s voice, but they were not able to listen to God. Had they listened to God, Adam and Eve could have remained animals, and we would not have had the complicated civilization that we have today. Perhaps God wanted them to rebel. I think that God wants us to argue with him. He enjoys making exceptions for humans because he built us with our own minds. Adam and Eve were curious about the fruit of knowledge. Ironically, the serpent got the most excruciating punishment, that he should remain an animal. God lifted up Adam and Eve giving them a strong awareness, so strong that they realized that they are naked.

What this translates to for my bat mitzvah is the possibility that Adam and Eve were thirteen and twelve, respectfully, when they were created; they were young adults in a soon to be Jewish community. At this age, they were perhaps attracted to each other and able to bear children together. Perhaps a one-year difference between the male and the female was optimal.
This theory is outlandish, I know, as many of my theories, but it could have been true. When we think about the biblical fact that a rib was removed from Adam by God to create a beautiful partner for Eve, now we know that Adam had to be about a year older than Eve because Adam was created first, but Eve was created right away to be Adam’s wife.

Still, Eve wanted to be more knowledgeable than her husband. Of course, Adam’s and Eve’s brains were built differently, and Adam avoided the fruit of knowledge until Eve seduced him to eat the fruit. Still, both were guilty, and both sustained their punishments from God. And moreover, God sent Adam and Eve the serpent to coerce them into eating the fruit, and in turn producing a humanity of civilization; they were no longer animals when they ate from the tree. The fruit from the tree was their bar and bat mitzvah.

Perhaps you need to know Hebrew to fully eat the pomegranate from the tree; or, in other words being an adult in the Jewish community has something to do with civilization. When a child is twelve or thirteen, they are supposedly perceived as an adult in the Jewish Community. This may have been the ages of Adam and Eve, Eve being the younger twelve, and Adam being the older thirteen since Eve was created after Adam. That is why Adam is thirteen at the age of a bar mitzvah, and Eve is twelve at the point of Bat Mitzvah.

I am forty-one at the age of Bat Mitzvah, and I have been attempting to perform my bat mitzvah since the age of twelve in the seventh grade, when I became a bat mitzvah dropout. I was working with a respected tutor, but I was very immature and could not go through with it. Later, while I was learning the tropes, they said it was unnecessary to have a bat mitzvah for the orthodox, because you became a bat mitzvah automatically at the age of twelve. When I moved over to a conservative temple, my desire to become bat mitzvah’d lingered.

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